Hede.io Entry: Nuclear Fusion

Nuclear fusion is a nuclear reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei of low atomic number come close enough to form one or more different atomic nuclei and the release of excess energy. Any fusion process that produces a nucleus lighter than the isotope iron-56 or nickel-62 will generally produce a net energy release. The energy released is equal to the mass difference between the reactants and products of the fusion reaction.

Nuclear fusion occurs naturally within the cores of stars. When a fusion cycle process begins creating iron nuclei in a large enough star the star will begin to go supernova.

Nuclear fusion was first hypothesized by Arthur Eddington in 1920. Eddington suggested that hydrogen-helium fusion could be the primary source of energy for stars. The theory of the main cycle of nuclear fusion in stars was later theorized by German-American nuclear physicist Hans Bethe.

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